Q: How did AMEXHI support the development of Round One?
A: AMEXHI is an association of 49 companies, each of which played a role in Round One, either as operators or nonoperators. We have the benefit of being supported by around 80 specialists who work for AMEXHI’s member companies. The association interacts with almost every stakeholder in the oil and gas industry as well as with the government through our consultancy councils, commenting on every single piece of regulation and contract that gets published. Most civil associations, the government and AMEXHI are on the same page regarding the way forward and because of that, we can come to decisions that everyone is comfortable with. If we fail to do so, we push for changes that benefit the whole industry.
Q: How does AMEXHI hope to influence the bidding process in Round Two?
A: The regulations are strong enough to manage most of the needs of the industry and government but when the government created Round One’s regulations and invited everyone to the table to discuss them, there were plenty of flaws and gaps that nobody saw. Now that the regulations are being implemented companies are starting to find both obvious and not so obvious problems. We have to keep fighting to ensure the regulations are continuously improving, otherwise we run the risk of having a rigid platform that companies find hard to deal with. Going into victory mode would be dangerous for everyone.
The social licenses required to begin operations are a concern. Companies that are going to operate fields are embarking on long-lasting relationships with communities, up to 50 years, so it is necessary to be engaged with both the local communities and the government. Another concern is the administrative cost of the contracts. Most companies find that there is an administrative overload and we are working together with the government and National Productivity Committee (CNP) on a set of tools that will make the process a lot easier and faster.
Q: What main advantage does AMEXHI offer its members?
A: Our biggest strength is that we can make the concern of a group of companies the concern of the industry. We can act as a megaphone for our members. They can get further involved in our activities by ensuring that their workforce takes part in our committees. All committees are open to the member companies and the only requirement is that participants must be employees of the member companies. These committees ensure that the companies’ workforce engages in useful and enriching conversations that deal with their challenges and expectations. We want AMEXHI to become an internal channel through which companies can share vital information that will help them grow. Having expertise from dozens of companies operating in about 90 countries worldwide makes our platform valuable for any member. We are encouraging them to use our channels to share their best practices and experiences.
Q: What are AMEXHI's top goals for the coming year?
A: We want Round Two to be a success and to have the concerns of our members considered in the shaping of Round Three. On the regulatory side we also expect to have influence on regulation, making it less of an administrative burden and allowing for a better and more efficient connection between government, companies and society.
We want our members to know AMEXHI is a valuable tool for them to get their voices heard. We have one very big ticket, the National Committee for Competitiveness, a presidential initiative that is handled by the productivity office of the Ministry of Finance. There is also an initiative to create an electronic portal for regulatory compliance. It is a massive undertaking involving around 13 government entities and the industry and the idea is to reduce the cost of compliance. The intent is to have a pilot for the end of this year.